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Stewart Handles Demotion with Class
Cowher Flips as QBs Flop
Cowher Names Graham Starter
QB Wright Released
Stewart, Graham to Share Duties
QBs Accept Cowher's Decision
Rooney: 2 QBs Might be Better Than 1
An Ounce of Prevention
Cowher Names Graham as Starting QB

Submitted by McMillen & Wife
Well paint me orange, smear an ugly brown stripe down my back, and toss me headfirst into a flaming Lake Erie... Cowher finally did it. And not a moment too soon.

Never has the saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" been more applicable. Rather than waiting to use QB Kent Graham to stop the bleeding until several games into the season, Cowher is using him NOW to take the bullets out of the gun (not that Kordell's passes have looked much like bullets lately).

This is the right move at the right time. The job was Stewart's to lose, and he lost it in grand fashion (1 of 13 over a two-game stretch). Am I overjoyed to see this happen? Hell, no. I mean, let's be honest... Kent Graham has been nothing to write home about in preseason, and I have little faith in his ability to lead the Steelers out of mediocrity. But Kent has looked light years ahead of Kordell.

Kordell, my heart aches for 'ya, bro... I'll never forget the magical spark you gave the team in the Super Bowl run in '95; your record setting 80-yard TD run vs. Carolina in '96; your miraculous comeback against Baltimore in '97. But this is a "what have you done for me lately" business, and your time has simply run out.

One more possibility... there's been a lot of speculation as to whether or not Stewart will return to his alter-ego of "Slash". I think there's a definite possibility he may see some limited action in that role, but I have a different view. The season is now Graham's to lose rather than Stewart's, and if Graham falters, Kordell will have the opportunity to come in and pick up the pieces. This would give Stewart a shot at being the hero, a chance he wouldn't have had if he went into the season as the starter. Not to make ludicrous comparisons, but Bradshaw was in a similar situation in '74. He came in midway through the season and was finally able to take hold of the team, and himself. Will this happen for Kordell? I dunno... but it's a possibility, and with the kind of money he's being paid, it had better happen. This season is defintely Kordell's last gasp.

Below, you'll find what other fans are saying about this hot topic. Be sure to send us YOUR comments.

Tim McMillen
Webmaster, McMillen & Wife

Fan Reactions
The following articles are listed in the order they were received (with the most recent entries at the top). This isn't a "guestbook" format... I read and manually insert every message, so you may not see your submission show up immediately. Thanks a million for your comments, people!
Submitted by Jonathan Pasterick
I have to say that I could not disagree more with Mr. Martin's comments about Kordell Stewart and his approach to his benching. With all due respect, I think it would be disastrous to put Kordell back in his Slash role. The fact is that, for better or worse, he is now the team's #2 QB. And let's face it, the #1 QB is not exactly Brett Favre. What if Graham gets injured, or a more likely scenario, plays like crap? What do you have to replace him? A guy who's been working out with the wide receivers for the regular season? I think it's pretty obvious that Kordell needs as much time working at QB, and QB alone, as possible. Plus, what if Kordell gets hurt at WR? Where are you then? Tee Martin? This is NOT the same situation that the Steelers were in when Kordell first undertook his Slash role. In 1995-96, he was at best the #3 QB. He had Neil O'Donnell and Mike Tomczak in front of him, as well as Jim Miller for a while. The Steelers had the luxury of trying Kordell at different things at that time. They do not now. Even if they had kept Wright, the #3 and #4 QBs would not have ever thrown an NFL pass between them. Kent Graham and Kordell are the ONLY viable options at QB. So to put one of them at another position for the season is a mistake, and I certainly don't hold it against Kordell for acknowledging that. If you put Kordell back in the Slash role, you ostensibly put Tee Martin in the #2 QB position (which I am sure many fans, though not myself, would want). QB is the hardest position on the field from a mental standpoint. It has already been well chronicled that Kordell has had trouble picking up the nuances of the position. So to afford him even less time to do it by playing him at other positions is really to no longer make him a viable option at QB. If you put Kordell at WR, RB, etc., and make him have to take time to learn those positions, and practice at those positions, thus taking even more study time and repetitions in practice at QB from him, you might as well call Tee Martin the #2 QB and go from there. And God forbid if Kent Graham gets hurt.

Jonathan Pasterick

Submitted by Carroll L. Martin
Tim, I realize Kordell is upset about not being the starting quarterback. And I felt for him until I read his latest comments. When asked about reprising his "Slash" role, he said, "No, that's not my focus right now. I have other things. I have to study film of my opponent at the quarterback position as opposed to trying to go out here and please other people and make them cheer and make them happy by playing wide receiver." Does he understand that he makes us cheer when he scores touchdowns, runs for big gains or generally makes the opposing defense look stupid? Does he understand that when he makes us cheer, he's helping his team? Does he understand that he should be willing to do anything to make this team win? Maybe this is why some fans don't support him. Others have said that he's selfish and I've always defended him. Now, I cannot. This proves that I was the fool all the time. Too bad, Kordell. I really liked you.

Carroll L. Martin

Submitted by Steeler Brooke
stewarts 'decision making' has improved but it is still too slow/inconsistant to successfully run our current offense; and maybe the old one too. kordell is an impulsive, tremendously athletic qb who has succeeded in football by making things happen with his natural ability. gilbride system (for better or worse) demands strict timing and a quick disciplined receiver check-off. it does NOT allow a QB 'impulsiveness' (for lack of a better word) unless a play completely breaks down... which is a separate problem.

all other offensive problems aside (i.e. line, recievers, etc) this is not a offensive system that kordell could ever flourish in. graham cant realistically be expected to fare noticebly better either. you know what? ... its too early to judge but i dont think tee martin isn't built for it either.

the steelers have invested 2 painful years imlementing gilbride overhaul and we have no choice but to watch it run its course. so far the results have been excrutiating to watch. im not so sure that it will ever work in pittsburgh. come to think of it, is this high-brow offensive scheme working successfully anywhere else in the league?

colbert and cowher better seriously address getting the right personnel to fit their offensive scheme. if this scheme is truly the answer.

the question is will the QB outlast the scheme or will the scheme bury the QB?

steeler brooke

Submitted by Dave Pressick
All I can say about Kent Graham starting is... about time. To live and die with the Steelers as we all do. Watching the Steelers the last two years, especially last year, was like going to the dentist. You don't want to, but you have to. When I watched some of the preseason games, all I could think of was here we go again. I think the players and fans are tired of Stewart as the STARTING QB.

If Kordell goes back to the slash role he played so well in the past, it will open up some things for the offense. The defense will have to account for where he is on the field, which is something they have not had to do in the past. They stacked the box against the run, and said go ahead and throw, we don't think you can. If Kent can complete a couple of passes to keep the chains moving. If the running game starts out just ok, we have a real chance to win. The offense will build some momentum and believe they can get the job done. The fans WANT something to cheer about after the last two years. If things don't look ugly early, they will go nuts!!!!!!!!

Steelers 20, Ravens 17

Go Steelers
Steeler Mike

Submitted by Dave Pressick
Okay here's my two-pennies on the subject.

First off, the tank isn't empty on Kordell yet. Yes, he's not accurate (that's why they've invested heavily in receivers over the past two seasons), but he's fast and can run. Something that may be a necessity if Dawson isn't plugging the middle.

Graham, he's slow of whit and of feet. He's looked good against other teams second and third strings, but last week we saw him fall flat on his face against the first team of Washington. He had help looking bad (Troy Edwards). The SAME help Kordell has had looking bad. The one thing Kent has going for him is the fans don't know enough to hate him yet. Time will come though.

What about option say you hate Kordell? , I can't stand Kent, what about Tee...he's shown fire and inspiration where the two others haven't. And gee, isn't he a Kordell kinda QB? I think so. Seems the prototypical QB is more like Kordell now than Kent.

Now I agree to start Kent this week against Baltimore. Tell him he's not on a short hook. Let the fans see him fail on one or two series and then let Kordell have a whack at it. If he looks bad, then we've got two weeks to get Tee up to speed.

If it's time to get rid of Kordell, then it's also time to release Kent. Should have kept Mike Quinn or Pete Gonzales. Hey, that guy Vic looks pretty good too.

And why in all of this isn't the blame being placed on the offensive coordinator. Why did Kordell thrive under Gailey and flounder under the rest. Answer: Gailey's offense suited Kordell and we had talent. Let's see Gilbride or any offensive coordinator design an offense to the QB instead of vice versa.

Here we go Steelers!
Dave Pressick

Submitted by AirHannsen
Having watched Kent Graham with the Giants (my other favorite team), here's my two red pennies on how he will do: Graham is a smart QB, but I always thought that he thinks he's better than he really is. Maybe that's a good thing, having confidence in himself, but he can be inconsistent if things aren't going his way. But I will say this for him - he is a tough SOB, with a cannon arm, and he can read a defense. Those things will serve him well in Steel town.

And don't forget, it was Kent Graham who drove the 5-8 Giants back in the final minutes to hand the Denver Broncos their first loss in 1998. If you remember, Denver had taken a 16-13 lead late in the game on a Terrel Davis TD run. Graham hit Amani Toomer for the winner from about 30 yards out after the 2-minute warning.

And in his 1998-1999 time as the Giants' starter, he was 10-5. I'll take that.

Submitted by Jonathan Pasterick
Talk about mixed emotions. On the one hand, I think Cowher made the right choice by putting Graham at QB. He brings a stability to the position that Kordell hasn't recently. For better or worse, you pretty well know what you're getting from him. You know where he'll be in the pocket, and you know the types of throws he can and can't make. On the other hand, this is kind of a sad day, because it clearly signals the fact that any hopes for Stewart being the QB of the future are dashed. This is a guy who held so much promise. Anyone who minimizes his accomplishments in 1997 wasn't watching the same games I was. To throw for over 3,000 yards, account for 32 touchdowns and lead your team to the AFC championship in your first year as QB is flat-out spectacular. People who contend otherwise are people who wanted him to fail from the outset for whatever reasons.

Further, it's a little short-sighted to bash the guy now that he isn't starting. Even though Stewart has been demoted, he is still precisely one blindside hit on Kent Graham from being the starting QB again. Given the adoration people on this website have developed for the Ravens defense recently and their assessments of the Steelers O-line, this could happen as early as Week 1.

Bottom line: Stewart's demotion, while certainly the correct decision, should not be cause for a block party. His failures ultimately make the Steelers a weaker team, whether he is starting or not, and that is probably what we should be the most concerned about.

Jonathan Pasterick

Submitted by Barry Fox
well i have to say that this was a great decision. i also think that they should look into putting hines ward to start if edwards continue to drop balls. i think the confidence of the offense have to get on track so they can win some games and hopefully we can get on a good win streak and not go back to here we go again with the losses. perhaps graham can step up to the plate and get goin. i would love to see the passing open up the running game. if our passing game is on track then we can say watchout for the STEELERS because they can pass and run. it has been a dream of mine for some time now that we start catching the ball the way we use to back in 95 when everyone grab great receptions and then the running game can BUS up the middle and get to outside and break big runs with BETTIS,HUNTLEY,ZEROUE,MAAFALA AND YES EVEN WITMAN GET SOME FIRST DOWNS. THAT IS MY DREAM MY BROTHAS AND SISTAS. TAKE YOU BACK TO THE DAY WHEN YOU HAD SWANN,STALLWORTH,HARRIS AND BLIER THATS WHAT I WANT! SOME WINS! SOME WINS! SOME WINS! GREAT GOD ALMIGHTY CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US WE HAVEN'T SEEN THE PROMISE LAND SINCE 1980 IS THAT ASKING TOO MUCH! I WILL BE WEARING MY BETTIS JERSEY UNLESS BY SOME GREAT MIRACLE STEWART COMES BACK AND PLAYS LIKE HE'S NEVER PLAYED BEFORE OR BECOMES FULL TIME SLASH WR,RB,PUNTER MAYBE! NO OFFENSE JOSH YOUR DOING GREAT!

Submitted by Carroll L. Martin
Even after all the support I've given Kordell, I think Cowher deciding to start Graham at quarterback is the smart thing to do. Kordell just doesn't seem to be able to get the job done. And although Graham isn't as mobile, he seems to be a heck of a lot more accurate. I'll take accurate over mobile anytime. Anyway, we'll see just how smart Cowher is when Graham has to face those blisteringly fast defenders from Baltimore. As always, GO STEELERS!!!
Carroll L. Martin

Submitted by Tom Bragg
Tim, all I can say is way to go Bill Cowher , you finally woke up from your slumber and smelled the coffee ! Its farely safe to say that the Kordell Stewert show is officially over in Pittsburgh . By making Kent Graham his starting QB , Cowher has finally shoved Kordell to the back burner , where he belongs ! If Graham has a successfull season and I firmly believe he will , it is a certainty that Kordell will be gone after this season . Kordell has no one to blame but himself . He new full well , that this would be a make or break season for him and he did nothing whatsoever in training camp or five pre-season games to deserve to lead the 2000 Pittsburgh Steelers . Kent Graham on the other hand played well and made the most of his opportunities . In time over the course of the season , Graham will get the job done .

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